Thursday, January 16, 2014


The French president has announced a new economic policy, leaving the left in the cold and the rest of the audience distracted.  His affair and the "status" of his current partner Valerie Trierweiler ended up under the rug after the president briefly answered a planted question, arguing that private lives were not "the stuff that dreams are made of."  Noel Coward would undoubtedly have been better.

I believe that Ms. Trierweiler deserves respect. The comments are salacious, the "third presumed party" uninteresting, and the scenario (if confirmed) of the French president with his helmet racing to his tryst is pathetic. True, in sex few situations are still able to astonish, as long as there is no voyeur (well....) or some paparazzi to make a photo for eternity. At least, until now Mr. Hollande has not lied as so many American and other VIPs have done. The French have a long "presidential " tradition of fooling around, benefiting from the complicity of their countrymen and women who would make a perfect Viagra ad.

It remains nevertheless curious to observe how in France and elsewhere so many who occupy the highest positions seem to adhere to a sort of ad hoc interpretation of their function. They stand firm on their prerogatives but prefer to ignore the stringent obligations that come with them. Too often we see a Spitzner melodrama payed out in front of merciless cameras, a John and Elizabeth Edwards pact of steel sold as a tearjerker or a cynical Clinton ploy wherein all is forgiven for the higher ambition. By the way, what happened to the Putin "lady vanishes" episode?

There is a general dysfunction in the mora (read Mark Leibovich "This Town").  I certainly prefer not to make judgments because the hysterically funny can lead to dire unforeseeable circumstances. The all-invading tabloid culture does not live on a diet. It is an omnivore. We had better control this reality-show we live in lately, otherwise the viewer might end up becoming the prey.

I often had the illusion that there existed a choice between Marcel (Proust) and Thomas (Mann).  Both are awesome. In their separate ways they are also merciless. "Remembrance" leads us to Watteau after having missed the boat. "The Magic Mountain" leaves us alone, sinking in unresolved fatal contra-fictionals. I realize that the real world is altogether more vulgar and opportunistic.  Madame Bovary today would resort to Craigslist and her story would long be gone in the shredder of contemporary irrelevance,

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